Tuesday Jan 18, 2022
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Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics


Nepalnews
2021 Jan 21, 11:34, kathmandu

Vice President Kamala Harris broke the barrier that has kept men at the top ranks of American power for more than two centuries when she took the oath Wednesday to hold the nation’s second-highest office.

Hours after she was sworn in as the first female U.S. vice president — and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent in the role — she cast the moment as one that embodied “American aspiration.”

“Even in dark times we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be,” she said in brief remarks outside the Lincoln Memorial. “We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.”

For Harris, the day was steeped in history and significance in more ways than one. She was escorted to the podium by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, the officer who single-handedly took on a mob of Trump supporters as they tried to breach the Senate floor during the Capitol insurrection, and she was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color on the court, on a Bible that once belonged to former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. She wore a deep purple dress and coat created by two emerging Black designers.

Her rise is historic in any context, another moment when a stubborn boundary falls away, expanding the idea of what’s possible in American politics. But it’s particularly meaningful because Harris takes office at a moment when Americans are grappling over institutional racism and confronting a pandemic that has disproportionately devastated Black and brown communities.

Those close to Harris say she’ll bring an important — and often missing — perspective to the debates on how to overcome the many hurdles facing the new administration.

“In many folks’ lifetimes, we experienced a segregated United States,” said Lateefah Simon, a civil rights advocate and longtime Harris friend and mentee. “You will now have a Black woman who will walk into the White House not as a guest but as a second in command of the free world.”

Harris — the child of immigrants, a stepmother of two and the wife of a Jewish man — “carries an inter sectional story of so many Americans who are never seen and heard.”


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